Bridges of London and Budgerigars, a New Pique Assiette Mosaic

Bridges of London and Budgerigars Detail, Helen Bushell,

the inspiration
I’d had this fantastic plate with the bridges of London all around the rim for ages. I’d had a few ideas for it but nothing that really inspired me into action. Nevertheless, I’d broken up the pieces and kept them together with masking tape for years. They were waiting for me, dust covered and dirty, on my studio shelf. And no, I don’t dust my studio much, there are just too many dishes and ornaments and I’d never get anything else done. Priorities you know.

Bridges of London and Budgerigars Detail, Helen Bushell,

the ingredients
For some odd reason I’d always thought of the bridges with Budgies or Budgerigars as the Brits called them. For me they went to together. I just happened to also have a “loverly” set of salt and pepper shaker blue budgies. And I also just happened to have a plate covered in, what else, English Ivy.  Ah the joys of having lots of used plates and ornaments to recycle and transform into something fun.

And that “something fun” was a new mirror for over the sink, so I’d have something entertaining to look at while doing dishes. There are always so many dishes to wash aren’t there? And me, I’ve got a low boredom threshold.

But what shape could this take? What would tie it all together? Finally, inspiration struck. An English Mantel clock! Or at least the shape of one….yes that would work. And with that, all the other questions were answered. I needed another plate for the “shoulders”, easy to find, waiting there all along in my studio stash. And the final touch? Well, what are the Brits famous for? Their gardens of course! So out came the porcelain flowers. You know, those little bouquets your mum collected.

Bridges of London and Budgerigars Beginning, Helen Bushell,

the finished piece
It took a while, but finally all the pieces were in place.  Well, almost, the budgie perches needed mosaic and the grouting needed doing.

Bridges of London and Budgerigars Detail, Helen Bushell,

The only thing left to do was glue on the budgies and the flowers. With a bit of careful chiseling I freed some flowers and leaves from their little porcelain pots and glued them into place.

Bridges of London and Budgerigars Detail, Helen Bushell,

Now, I’ve got the Bridges and Budgerigars of London over my sink, surrounding a mirror that reflects the stained glass window we bought years ago, also from England. And I must say, I rather like it.

Bridges of London and Budgerigars,  Helen Bushell,


16 thoughts on “Bridges of London and Budgerigars, a New Pique Assiette Mosaic

  1. Marianne says:

    These cheerful little washing-up companions look ready to burst into song, nestled on their pretty perches!! I’m sure with this lovely scene before you, you can actually look forward to doing the dishes!

  2. Meredith says:

    Helen, this creative new addition to your room adds so much to that dread daily chore, the dishes (and yes, endless). I can’t imagine having the vision or skill to pull off a 3-D piece this complex — and beautiful! Even the way you’ve hung it to reflect the stained-glass piece is lovely. 🙂

  3. Jen says:

    You did an amazing job, I don’t think that I could have envisioned the finished piece from your materials there. And yes, washing the dishes will be so much more pleasant now…


  4. Helen at Summerhouse says:

    Hi Paul and Olya, I’m so glad you like it. It was fun to finally get it all to work and fit together. I’ve been getting some other ideas perking from this mosaic that I’ll email to you soon.

  5. debsgarden says:

    That is totally charming! You waited a long time for the right inspiration, and your patience paid off. I love how it reflects the stained glass window.

  6. Helen at Summerhouse says:

    Hi Marianne, Glad you enjoyed my little Budgie mosaic. Just checked out your budgie site. What fun! We had a Budgie many years ago who was quite vocal and could say a lot of words, as well as mimic. He was called Harold and was the same color as the Budgies in my mosaic.

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